James Higbie’s Essential Thai is Back!

James Higbie and Essential Thai

This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.

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James Higbie and Essential Thai…

From the inception of the Successful Thai Language Learner series, I’ve had my eye on James Higbie. I was patiently tracking Jim down, but he found me first.

During our back and forth Jim mentioned that his highly prized Essential Thai is being tidied up for a reprint. And just this week he sent over the official announcement.

Essential Thai will be available late in 2010 or early in 2011.

Chris Frape, Publisher of Orchid Press, has announced that the Bangkok-based company will reissue Essential Thai, a popular beginning level Thai language book that has been out of print since the demise of the book division of Post Publishing almost ten years ago.

The book will be reissued in its original A4 format and will include standard sized CDs for pronunciation.

I was chuffed to hear his news as I’ve been trying to beg, borrow, or even steal a copy for ages. And I’m not alone in this (google to see what I mean).

And I promise that as soon as the book is ready, I will announce it here. Right after I get my very own copy.

Other books by James Higbie (published by Orchid Press) include: Thai Reference Grammar, Let’s Speak Thai, and Let’s Speak Lao.


Note: In the picture above is James Higbie, author. Standing to his right is Victor Titze, General Manager of Orchid Press. They are in front of the Orchid Bookstore, fourth floor Silom Complex, Bangkok.

12 thoughts on “James Higbie’s Essential Thai is Back!”

  1. Rick, My pleasure 🙂 So it seems like Jim focuses on patterns (it’s something I’m interested in). And your comment – the most impressive phrasebook I’ve ever read – has me chomping at the bit. Now I’m wondering if I could beg an advanced copy from Orchid Press…

  2. I have been perusing and even studying Higbie’s Lao-English Dictionary and Phrasebook for the last half year and I’m impressed. It’s such a small book but it’s still so thorough. In his list of words referring to family, he goes through 30 plus designations and throws in a few typical family questions you might ask to be polite. Under examples of “where?” words, he goes through 30 plus varied examples — well, everything I could possibly think of is offered. Frankly, it’s the most impressive phrasebook I’ve ever read. So, yes, I’m keen to hear what you will have to say about this new edition.

    And thanks, as always, for keeping on top of the news!

  3. Catherine I await your review with interest. This book will be more suitable to my current level of Thai language learning. Have you any idea on the price.

  4. Ashley, amazon has his other books so I imagine Essential Thai will appear too. Thai Reference Grammar is indeed fine (my copy keeps gravitating next to the sofa).

    Only one of Jim’s books is in Kindle, but with enough nudges in their direction perhaps we can get all represented. Note: I’m a new convert to Kindle on the iPhone as you can do a quick search of the contents – perfect for Thai grammar books especially.

  5. Excellent news. Will Amazon be stocking it as I am currently not in the country.

    I already own Thai Reference Grammar and I must say that it is one highest quality books I own. Not only in terms of it’s rich content but the print materials makes me doubt they made any profit selling it.

  6. Talen, there is almost a cult surrounding tattered copies of Essential Thai, so I’ll be impatiently waiting as well. I have all his other books (except for his Lao version), so I know a bit what to expect. But I’m still all grins.

  7. Cat, I have heard from a few different people about Essential Thailand was hoping I would one day see a copy…now I know I will. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it once you get it.


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